Last Friday, a bit after 5 p.m., my electricity went off during what I thought was just a local Central Ohio normal summer thunder boomer. Although it was darker than any boomer I had seen before. It was nearly pitch black outside.
I took the picture above as the storm moved in. I had just tweeted that there was a storm coming and I went outside to take a picture to post on Twitter. I never got to post the picture. The storm moved so fast. I had just hooked up the camera to the cord to copy the pictures from my camera to my computer when my power went out. Dead. Nothing for 48+ hours.
I took the picture above right after the picture above it. The winds had picked up considerably by then. It was blowing the branches and leaves of the tree very hard. I tried to capture it with a still picture. Did not work so well. The wind almost blew the door out of my hands as I went back inside. This was the start of the storm. You can also start to see how dark it got from this picture. It got a lot darker. If you are super observant, you can also se a few drops of rain on the lens.
I thought the power would come back on in an hour or two as it usually does in a summer boomer. What wishful thinking that was.
Making things worse, this power outage occurred during one of the hottest and most intense heat waves that broke numerous records through out the Midwest last week. It was in the high 90’s and me with no air conditioning.
It was too dark to read. There was no TV. No internet. I sat and watched the wind and the rain.
The hardest part was the 95 degree heat with no air conditioner. I barely slept Friday night. It was a long, hot, muggy night. I tossed and turned more than I slept.
Since I do just about everything on my computer these days I also had no information on what was happening except from what my neighbor could give me from the newspaper and a weather radio.
I only have a cell phone. No land line. I keep this cell phone in the charging cradle most times when at home. With no power to charge the phone, I had to go out and buy a car charger Saturday morning so I could keep my phone charged during the power outage just in case I had an emergency. I had to drive about an hour each day to charge her up. But this proved to be advantageous, as my car had air conditioning.
On Saturday, the first inkling I had that the storm was larger than just a Central Ohio storm was when I called my cousin who has a house on a lake about an hour northwest of here. I thought I might be able to stay there a couple of days till my electricity came back on. But the lake house had no power either and was hit by the same storm. Trees were down blocking some roads I was told.
Pictures the Morning After
Above: Park behind my house the morning after.
Above: The shopping center across the street from where I live.
In neighborhood after neighborhood, on street after street, these same types of scenes play out across Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas. If you want to get some sense of the magnitude of the damage, multiply these pictures by 200,000; the number of people who lost power in the storm in Franklin County. And then remember, many of those 200,000 people still do not have power. I am one of the lucky ones who does.
From the radio in my car as I drove around charging my phone and from the accessing the net at the library I soon learned that much of the state had been hit by the storm and that close to a million people in Ohio were with out power. Eventually I learned this was a Mid-Atlantic area storm impacting several states and millions of people.
I used the library to both get cool and to use a computer to make contact with my Twitter friends too. Can’t go without Twitter you know. My Twitter friends are like family. It was nice to make contact and know people cared, wanted to help, and are a great source of support.
Driving around I also began to see the massive damage done by this storm in Columbus. Trees uprooted, tree branches in the streets, wires down. Winds at Don Scott Airport (less than a mile from where I live) were clocked at 85 mph.
I have since learned that the storm that hit us was a rare super derecho that packed hurricane force winds across the Mid Atlantic states wreaking havoc where ever it went.
From CNN via Twitter friend Stan:
The Derecho that hit the United States on Friday covered 650 miles and was 350 miles wide.
Winds were clocked at 91 miles per hour in Ft. Wayne, IN; 80 mph in Ohio, and 71 mph in Washington, D.C.
You can get more info on derecho in general by clicking the previous link, as well as more detailed information about all of the states affected by clicking this weather link. Thanks as well to Twitter friends Stan (at slines) and Kathy (at elegantdame) for the following great articles on derecho: Derecho 1 and Derecho 2
The American Way
Clean up began immediately Saturday morning. In the midst of clean up people were also putting up decorations, and claiming prime sitting locations for 4th of July parades and picnics.
I love Americans. We are a practical people. Disasters can’t keep us down. We carry on, do what must be done, move on and throw a party and have fun at the same time.
Featured Recipe Vanilla Raspberry Lemonade
During this heat wave and ultra-hot weather we need as many different ways to stay cool and hydrated as possible
One of my favorite ways of doing that is making and drinking lots and lots of lemonade. I mean plain water is just so boring.
Found this recipe in the 2010 issue of Sunset magazine. The Sunset recipe calls for almond syrup. However I could not find any. I always have vanilla syrup around so I decided to use it instead. I love the heavenly vanilla taste and scent.
The vanilla was perfect. The lemonade was the best I have ever had. It adds a very subtle taste to the lemonade.
It was so good I am really intrigued about how almond syrup would taste like. I love almond syrup and aroma too. So I am going to keep trying to locate almond syrup and make some almond flavored lemonade too. I will let you know how it works out.
Use what ever flavor syrup you love.
You can use any store bought lemonade or make your own. If you want to make your own click the following link for a super simple home made lemonade recipe.
I am using store bought today because of all the hassle of no electricity the last few days. Plus it is just faster. And this is already a super quick and easy recipe. I am positive it will soon become one of your favorites too.
You will like the cost too. I was able to make it for $0.87 a glass. Another great Recession Buster Recipe.©
This is what you will need for 4 8-ounces glasses of lemonade:
1 quart chilled lemonade
½ cup chilled vanilla syrup
½ cup raspberries
Here is what you do:
Stir all the ingredients in a pitcher and mix thoroughly.
Chill or to serve immediately pour over ice.
Super simple. Super delicious. Super cold.
1 quart chilled lemonade $1.28
½ cup chilled vanilla syrup $1.20
½ cup raspberries $1.00
Total cost = $3.48
Cost per glass = $0.87
Quote of the Day
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.